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MSJYOP28Apilot
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Posts: 470
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:09 am

New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:50 am

Airlines have been struggling with the recent FAA mandated increase in passenger weights. Weights were increased to 205 lbs per person in the summer and 210 lbs per person in the winter. This has caused major issues for airlines that operate at short runway airport like MDW and hot airports like RNO and PHX. Fuel stops and weight restrictions are much more common this summer than in the past. 50 seat operators have been getting it really bad as already weight sensitive planes are now weighing even more. A full narrowbody plane weights about 3000-5000lbs more than it did a month ago.

The winter will be a real challenge. 737NG and A321/A320/A319s will struggle big time with full passenger loads to fly transcons in the winter. The heavier weights will mean higher burns, weights closer to maximum structural, and likely more fuel stops. Jetblue will likely struggle big time to make their A320s work on most days flying transcons. 50 seat regionals will struggle to carry 30-35 passengers whenever a long alternate is required by winter weather and fog. These updated weights will hurt airlines that try to use the A321NEO or A321LR on longer Europe or Hawaii routes.

Will the airlines soon be lobbying for the weights to return to previous standard? Will we see seats removed from planes or engine upgrades to allow for greater payload uplifts?
 
32andBelow
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 4:58 am

Maybe they can workout some MTOW increases form the manufacturers
 
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UPlog
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:37 am

We should be happy there are updated weights. Why continue under-reporting weights when we know from actual surveys that passengers and their carry-ons have gotten heavier?

The importance of updated weights was tragically highlighted in the US Airways 5481 crash which was both out of CG limits and overweight due use of unrealistic weight assumptions for passengers.
 
JibberJim
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:38 am

So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:45 am

JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?


The average weight was increased by the FAA from 185 summer and 190 in winter to 205 summer and 210 winter. To put in perspective, a 737 with 184 seats now weighs 3,600 lbs more. This increase in weights also comes when airlines are jamming more seats on planes. Most fuel stops and weight restrictions this summer are because of this increase in weight. At places like RNO, LAS, MDW the choice is often bump 20-30 people or make a fuel stop.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:58 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?


The average weight was increased by the FAA from 185 summer and 190 in winter to 205 summer and 210 winter. To put in perspective, a 737 with 184 seats now weighs 3,600 lbs more. This increase in weights also comes when airlines are jamming more seats on planes. Most fuel stops and weight restrictions this summer are because of this increase in weight. At places like RNO, LAS, MDW the choice is often bump 20-30 people or make a fuel stop.


Using your own math, 3680lb/205lb = 18 pax -- is quite a bit less than the "20 to 30" you're claiming.

Secondly, the planes didn't suddenly actually get heavier. The *actual* fuel burned to carry the same pax hasn't increased. Fuel burn calibrations based on the old pax weights assumed higher fuel consumption per payload lb than they should have. They will soon adapt to the new norm and "trip fuel" will be the same again. The are no secondary fuel effects, i.e. there is no "i'm 4000lbs heavier and now my burn rate is
higher". The burn rate used reduces to account for the weight gain. Better operators should have been able to largely account for this empirically without actually having to recalibrate fully off actuals.

This is purely a MZFW/MTOW/MLW issue for segments that bumped near these limits, or field performance limitations. It negatively affects ultra-long haul and long haul flying much more-so than domestic flying. For example, IAH-SYD may not be possible with these more-accurate averages. Very few flights are actually near these limits on narrow bodies. It may force some 50-seat operators to shorten max length routes they're willing to operate, which would be a good thing, IMHO. For operators that didn't purchase full MTOW or full thrust options will likely be upgrading soon if not already.

Finally, most of the fuel stop and pax bumping that has happened over the last few weeks are because of crazy weather reroutes and forever-distant alternatives. Bumping/stopping would already have been an issue under the old and unrealistic rules -- the updated ones are exaggerating it a bit. But for good cause -- the averages are now closer to actual and safety has improved.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 1:56 pm

JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?



Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.
 
CRJockey
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:02 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
Airlines have been struggling with the recent FAA mandated increase in passenger weights. Weights were increased to 205 lbs per person in the summer and 210 lbs per person in the winter. This has caused major issues for airlines that operate at short runway airport like MDW and hot airports like RNO and PHX. Fuel stops and weight restrictions are much more common this summer than in the past. 50 seat operators have been getting it really bad as already weight sensitive planes are now weighing even more. A full narrowbody plane weights about 3000-5000lbs more than it did a month ago.

The winter will be a real challenge. 737NG and A321/A320/A319s will struggle big time with full passenger loads to fly transcons in the winter. The heavier weights will mean higher burns, weights closer to maximum structural, and likely more fuel stops. Jetblue will likely struggle big time to make their A320s work on most days flying transcons. 50 seat regionals will struggle to carry 30-35 passengers whenever a long alternate is required by winter weather and fog. These updated weights will hurt airlines that try to use the A321NEO or A321LR on longer Europe or Hawaii routes.

Will the airlines soon be lobbying for the weights to return to previous standard? Will we see seats removed from planes or engine upgrades to allow for greater payload uplifts?


You have some serious misunderstanding how physics work if you think planes are now actually heavier than they have been before.

The only thing that changes is, that calculations regarding field length and climb are now closer to the truth. Of that means some pax need to be left behind, well then they shouldn’t have been on board for the past years anyway to ensure adequate margins and correct calculations.
 
LH707330
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:14 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?



Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:24 am

LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?



Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


It would solve that problem, yes. However I imagine it would open a stupendous can of worms and we'd all long for the good old days when pax were just charged a "flat rate". ;)
 
N1120A
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 9:24 pm

US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?



Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.
 
Cubsrule
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 10:23 pm

N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:


Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.


How long has it been since a US carrier weighed carryons? OW did until they ceased to exist I believe, and they (obviously) were operating AA coded flights.
 
N1120A
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:29 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:

True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.


How long has it been since a US carrier weighed carryons? OW did until they ceased to exist I believe, and they (obviously) were operating AA coded flights.


Carry on weight enforcement is pretty negligible. The real issue is average passenger weights, which Americans are particularly averse to giving enough of a sample size for.

Also, I believe the airlines have adopted reasonable estimated carryon weights.
 
Cubsrule
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:51 pm

N1120A wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.



I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.


How long has it been since a US carrier weighed carryons? OW did until they ceased to exist I believe, and they (obviously) were operating AA coded flights.


Carry on weight enforcement is pretty negligible. The real issue is average passenger weights, which Americans are particularly averse to giving enough of a sample size for.

Also, I believe the airlines have adopted reasonable estimated carryon weights.


I don’t know of any study on this, but I wonder the extent to which carryon weighing could smooth out passenger weight disparities. I’ve definitely carried on roller bags that were mostly full of paper and REALLY heavy.
 
N1120A
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:59 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
N1120A wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

How long has it been since a US carrier weighed carryons? OW did until they ceased to exist I believe, and they (obviously) were operating AA coded flights.


Carry on weight enforcement is pretty negligible. The real issue is average passenger weights, which Americans are particularly averse to giving enough of a sample size for.

Also, I believe the airlines have adopted reasonable estimated carryon weights.


I don’t know of any study on this, but I wonder the extent to which carryon weighing could smooth out passenger weight disparities. I’ve definitely carried on roller bags that were mostly full of paper and REALLY heavy.


I believe the US carriers assume carry on weights at 40 pounds, which is usually way more than even heavy roller travelers are carrying.
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:31 am

Out of interest, when where the old standard weights first introduced?
 
N1120A
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:53 am

[quote="CrimsonNL"]Out of interest, when where the old standard weights first introduced?[/quote]

The current ones were 170/175.
 
LH707330
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Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:35 pm

N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:


Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.

It's a fairness vs equality thing: the equal option is everyone pays the same regardless, but the fair option is to pay for what you use, i.e. by passenger GW, including all bags. The optimally fair pricing calculator would give me LxWxH and mass inputs for everything I want to bring, including myself, and then spit out a price. That's how it works for most other payloads, people just get emotional when pay-for-what-you-use pricing is applied to humans as a cargo.

For the record, my passenger GW is higher than 205 lbs in most cases, so I would probably pay more as a result. I still think that's fair and reasonable.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26861
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sun Jul 04, 2021 4:55 pm

LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.

It's a fairness vs equality thing: the equal option is everyone pays the same regardless, but the fair option is to pay for what you use, i.e. by passenger GW, including all bags. The optimally fair pricing calculator would give me LxWxH and mass inputs for everything I want to bring, including myself, and then spit out a price. That's how it works for most other payloads, people just get emotional when pay-for-what-you-use pricing is applied to humans as a cargo.

For the record, my passenger GW is higher than 205 lbs in most cases, so I would probably pay more as a result. I still think that's fair and reasonable.


It is not fair nor reasonable to create a rule forcing men to pay more for flights than women, nor is it fair or reasonable to force certain ethnicities that are genetically larger to pay more.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:40 pm

LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.

LH707330 wrote:

True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.

It's a fairness vs equality thing: the equal option is everyone pays the same regardless, but the fair option is to pay for what you use, i.e. by passenger GW, including all bags. The optimally fair pricing calculator would give me LxWxH and mass inputs for everything I want to bring, including myself, and then spit out a price. That's how it works for most other payloads, people just get emotional when pay-for-what-you-use pricing is applied to humans as a cargo.

For the record, my passenger GW is higher than 205 lbs in most cases, so I would probably pay more as a result. I still think that's fair and reasonable.

It may be reasonable to differentiate, but is there that much of difference?
There are per-flight (flight crew, frame hours &cycles, MTOW weight based fees), per-seat (1 FA per 50 seats, facility charges) and per-pound (fuel, engine wear) components of the cost for a given route. There may be secondary effects - like heavier flight cannot climb to optimal altitude; but those would be secondary effects.
Per-flight costs are effectively allocated on a per-volume (per-footprint) basis - J pays more than E+, and regular Y is even less. This also happens elsewhere, UPS and FedEx charge "volume-based weight" or whatever they call it, as their planes are often volume-limited. Then yield management messes it all up, but extra charges for extra floor space are there.
Per-seat costs are partially hidden, partially show up as "fees and taxes"
Per-pound costs MAY be proportionally allocated based on actual pax weights, but would constitute a fairly small portion of the price. I did the math at some point, and came up with $20 per 200 lb person for a 3 hour 737 flight. This is a ballpark estimate, of course. Yet, that is a difference between overweight 300 lb and anorexic 100 lb pax, real spread would be below $10 - and cost more in collection than the revenue.
 
LH707330
Posts: 2514
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Tue Jul 06, 2021 11:29 pm

N1120A wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.



I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.

It's a fairness vs equality thing: the equal option is everyone pays the same regardless, but the fair option is to pay for what you use, i.e. by passenger GW, including all bags. The optimally fair pricing calculator would give me LxWxH and mass inputs for everything I want to bring, including myself, and then spit out a price. That's how it works for most other payloads, people just get emotional when pay-for-what-you-use pricing is applied to humans as a cargo.

For the record, my passenger GW is higher than 205 lbs in most cases, so I would probably pay more as a result. I still think that's fair and reasonable.


It is not fair nor reasonable to create a rule forcing men to pay more for flights than women, nor is it fair or reasonable to force certain ethnicities that are genetically larger to pay more.

I think you're getting stuck in the fairness vs equality piece. Let's take a look at a few different scenarios:

I eat twice as much as the average person: should I pay 2x what they do in groceries (fair), or should I argue that we should all pay for a stomach fill (equal)?
I go to the post office with a big box and see someone in line with a small envelope: should I pay more because my box costs more to move (fair), or should we all pay an equal amount regardless of cost?
My car is bigger than my neighbor's car and burns more fuel. Should I have to pay more at the pump, or should everyone pay the same for a full tank? Let's say I bought a larger car because everyone in my family is 6'3" and my neighbors are all 5'3", does that change the equation?
I weigh 200#, and flying more weight around costs fuel and money. Should I pay more for that, or should lighter passengers cross-subsidize my ticket? Is it fair for a 100# passenger to be charged $50 for a checked bag, when pax+bag still weighs less than I do?
 
LH707330
Posts: 2514
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:21 am

kalvado wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
N1120A wrote:
US 5481 wouldn't have happened if the airplane had been maintained properly. The crew couldn't trim the aircraft to handle the overweight, out of envelope condition. That goes to show just how robustly the 1900 was built and how Swiss cheesed they got.

At this point, most airlines are operating their aircraft well within the range band. The most densely fitted planes, narrowbodies, are rarely operating anywhere near the limits, and long range widebodies are not anywhere near max capacity. This probably will not be a major deal.



I mean, charging by weight would be fundamentally discriminatory for all sorts of very real reasons, and not just the oft debated merits (or lack thereof) of obesity as a protected class.

It's a fairness vs equality thing: the equal option is everyone pays the same regardless, but the fair option is to pay for what you use, i.e. by passenger GW, including all bags. The optimally fair pricing calculator would give me LxWxH and mass inputs for everything I want to bring, including myself, and then spit out a price. That's how it works for most other payloads, people just get emotional when pay-for-what-you-use pricing is applied to humans as a cargo.

For the record, my passenger GW is higher than 205 lbs in most cases, so I would probably pay more as a result. I still think that's fair and reasonable.

It may be reasonable to differentiate, but is there that much of difference?
There are per-flight (flight crew, frame hours &cycles, MTOW weight based fees), per-seat (1 FA per 50 seats, facility charges) and per-pound (fuel, engine wear) components of the cost for a given route. There may be secondary effects - like heavier flight cannot climb to optimal altitude; but those would be secondary effects.
Per-flight costs are effectively allocated on a per-volume (per-footprint) basis - J pays more than E+, and regular Y is even less. This also happens elsewhere, UPS and FedEx charge "volume-based weight" or whatever they call it, as their planes are often volume-limited. Then yield management messes it all up, but extra charges for extra floor space are there.
Per-seat costs are partially hidden, partially show up as "fees and taxes"
Per-pound costs MAY be proportionally allocated based on actual pax weights, but would constitute a fairly small portion of the price. I did the math at some point, and came up with $20 per 200 lb person for a 3 hour 737 flight. This is a ballpark estimate, of course. Yet, that is a difference between overweight 300 lb and anorexic 100 lb pax, real spread would be below $10 - and cost more in collection than the revenue.

That's a good question, and it probably depends on how you measure and attribute it. Doing some napkin math: an A330 on a 10-hour leg doing 6t/h with 200 pax @100 kg/pax will burn 7000/20,000=.3 kg fuel per kg of payload per hour, so 3 kg over the whole 10-hour trip. Per pax, that comes out to 300 kg for a 100 kg person, or 150 kg for a 50 kg person. That assumes that payload weight is the driving factor.

At long haul where you're past the payload-range kink you would hit the weight limits, and would have to make a choice between selling more seats versus more weight. Let's say you're weight-limited to 20t and have 250 seats open on a 7,000 nm flight: then you need to figure out if you want 250x80kg, 200x100kg, or somewhere in the middle. That's when the weight rate would get steeper.

To your point, volume is likely the more dominant factor on most shorter hauls. If I'm sending a 90t A321 1,000 nm with 180 pax and have plenty of weight margin, then I've got a payload fraction of 20%. If all my 100 kg pax magically become 50 kg, then I save 9t, or 10%. If that A321 is burning 2500 kg/hr, then I lop 10% off my 5,000 kg for 4500, or ~3 kg per pax.

You've got to consider cargo as well: if every kg of pax is 1 less kg of cargo, then whatever the cargo rate is should be the floor of your pax-kg rate. At that point, you're trading off volumes (seats and pallet stations) and weight (all up) to get the optimal price point.
 
planecane
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:24 pm

Why can't scales be installed at the gates? I would think that a pad for each gear strut would be well within the technological limitations in 2021. Then, everything can be based on an exact weight.

That or a scale that each passenger walks over with their carry on items. They can get the checked baggage weights from check in and any cargo can be weighed as well.
 
Snuffaluffagus
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:26 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Wed Jul 07, 2021 1:46 pm

planecane wrote:
Why can't scales be installed at the gates? I would think that a pad for each gear strut would be well within the technological limitations in 2021. Then, everything can be based on an exact weight.

That or a scale that each passenger walks over with their carry on items. They can get the checked baggage weights from check in and any cargo can be weighed as well.


Because that costs money to design it, implement it, construct it, maintain it, etc. And in my short 10 years of flying airliners across three airlines, I’ve learned if it costs money, airlines will do whatever they can to get out of paying for it.
 
User avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 20806
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:22 am

planecane wrote:
Why can't scales be installed at the gates? I would think that a pad for each gear strut would be well within the technological limitations in 2021. Then, everything can be based on an exact weight.

That or a scale that each passenger walks over with their carry on items. They can get the checked baggage weights from check in and any cargo can be weighed as well.


Weighing aircraft accurately out in the open is very difficult. The slightest gust of wind will change the numbers. Hence why aircraft must be weighed in a hangar with the doors closed.

More to the point, as Snuffaluffagus says, any such system would cost money without any associated return.
 
planecane
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:58 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:00 am

Starlionblue wrote:
planecane wrote:
Why can't scales be installed at the gates? I would think that a pad for each gear strut would be well within the technological limitations in 2021. Then, everything can be based on an exact weight.

That or a scale that each passenger walks over with their carry on items. They can get the checked baggage weights from check in and any cargo can be weighed as well.


Weighing aircraft accurately out in the open is very difficult. The slightest gust of wind will change the numbers. Hence why aircraft must be weighed in a hangar with the doors closed.

More to the point, as Snuffaluffagus says, any such system would cost money without any associated return.


I wasn't thinking about lift from a slight breeze changing the weight on the scales. Thanks for pointing that out!
 
Okcflyer
Posts: 852
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 11:10 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:30 am

planecane wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
planecane wrote:
Why can't scales be installed at the gates? I would think that a pad for each gear strut would be well within the technological limitations in 2021. Then, everything can be based on an exact weight.

That or a scale that each passenger walks over with their carry on items. They can get the checked baggage weights from check in and any cargo can be weighed as well.


Weighing aircraft accurately out in the open is very difficult. The slightest gust of wind will change the numbers. Hence why aircraft must be weighed in a hangar with the doors closed.

More to the point, as Snuffaluffagus says, any such system would cost money without any associated return.


I wasn't thinking about lift from a slight breeze changing the weight on the scales. Thanks for pointing that out!


It’s not so much about the wind causing lift (weight reduction) as that’s pretty immaterial. What it does do is create eccentric loading.

Take a scale outside and hold a large piece of cardboard on a windy day. Your weight on the scale will increase from the wind load on the cardboard. The leeward side ends up with a compression force resisting the lateral wind load as your body behaves like a beam.

In an ideal simple case, the windward side would lighten and net total unchanged. But in real world, a list of other factors typically yields a net weight increase.

Wind loading in buildings is non-trivial. In tall slender buildings, it usually becomes a dictating load case. Similar story in the trucking industry (scales).

In the case of a airplane, it means landing gear weights are constantly changing due to varying wind. Leeward side is heavier than actual. Windward side lighter. It’s likely the total weight measured more than it would have been had the example same plane been measured in a still environment.

Btw, it is pretty easy to implement a system to about 0.5% accuracy on the landing gears using pretty affordable tech. Some freighters offered this as an option. But it’s not reliable enough to further improve the already statistically validated system.
 
CRJ900
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:48 am

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:06 am

Are the weights for passenger only, or is it passenger+baggage?

Bombardier used 225lbs as standard weight for years on their CRJ and Q aircraft, I assume that was pax+bag but that must have given the airlines some wiggle room, especially with the CRJ700 and CRJ900 which had better runway performance and larger fuel capacity than the 50-seaters.
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2592
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:40 am

LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
JibberJim wrote:
So have the weights actually increased? Passengers have got fatter over the pandemic? Or is this purely the extra weight of the extra fuel that's required to be loaded based on the passenger weights, if so then can it really have that much impact tankering a bit of extra fuel? Even the 50seat plane is only seeing what a 2% increase in planned weight when full, so the equivalent of leaving one person behind, and even less on larger planes?



Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


Spirit Airlines would make a lot more money if their passengers paid by their weight.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 3548
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:54 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Are the weights for passenger only, or is it passenger+baggage?

Bombardier used 225lbs as standard weight for years on their CRJ and Q aircraft, I assume that was pax+bag but that must have given the airlines some wiggle room, especially with the CRJ700 and CRJ900 which had better runway performance and larger fuel capacity than the 50-seaters.


Passenger and things they bring into the cabin. Checked baggage was also changed in weight (at least at the carrier I work at). These new weights are going to be the quickest reason that the 50 seat RJ goes away, even in summer, on shorter flights, they are payload limited. Throw in an alternate, and they're no longer a 50 seat jet. Come winter, with an alternate, you're looking at a 45 seat jet in some cases.
 
CRJ900
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:48 am

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:52 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
These new weights are going to be the quickest reason that the 50 seat RJ goes away, even in summer, on shorter flights, they are payload limited. Throw in an alternate, and they're no longer a 50 seat jet. Come winter, with an alternate, you're looking at a 45 seat jet in some cases.


Then perhaps all CRJ700 will be turned into CRJ550 then, giving pax a much better experience from smaller airports.
 
kalvado
Posts: 3311
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 7:31 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
planecane wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

Weighing aircraft accurately out in the open is very difficult. The slightest gust of wind will change the numbers. Hence why aircraft must be weighed in a hangar with the doors closed.

More to the point, as Snuffaluffagus says, any such system would cost money without any associated return.


I wasn't thinking about lift from a slight breeze changing the weight on the scales. Thanks for pointing that out!


It’s not so much about the wind causing lift (weight reduction) as that’s pretty immaterial. What it does do is create eccentric loading.

Take a scale outside and hold a large piece of cardboard on a windy day. Your weight on the scale will increase from the wind load on the cardboard. The leeward side ends up with a compression force resisting the lateral wind load as your body behaves like a beam.

In an ideal simple case, the windward side would lighten and net total unchanged. But in real world, a list of other factors typically yields a net weight increase.

Wind loading in buildings is non-trivial. In tall slender buildings, it usually becomes a dictating load case. Similar story in the trucking industry (scales).

In the case of a airplane, it means landing gear weights are constantly changing due to varying wind. Leeward side is heavier than actual. Windward side lighter. It’s likely the total weight measured more than it would have been had the example same plane been measured in a still environment.

Btw, it is pretty easy to implement a system to about 0.5% accuracy on the landing gears using pretty affordable tech. Some freighters offered this as an option. But it’s not reliable enough to further improve the already statistically validated system.

I would suspect that design safety margins would take care of few %% overweight. An often quoted US5481 had a technical issue on top of weight issue, making it unmanageable.
What automatic weighting can do, though, it may help catching gross errors in loading data - like EK407 had. Not sure if extra cost and weight would justify few (any?) avoided accidents.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 3548
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Fri Jul 09, 2021 8:20 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
DiamondFlyer wrote:
These new weights are going to be the quickest reason that the 50 seat RJ goes away, even in summer, on shorter flights, they are payload limited. Throw in an alternate, and they're no longer a 50 seat jet. Come winter, with an alternate, you're looking at a 45 seat jet in some cases.


Then perhaps all CRJ700 will be turned into CRJ550 then, giving pax a much better experience from smaller airports.


Yes, but the number of CR7's left is no where near the number of E145/CR2 in service today. Not to mention, most of the 145/CR2 left flying are roughly the same age as these CR7's that are being converted.
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20806
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:57 am

kalvado wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
planecane wrote:

I wasn't thinking about lift from a slight breeze changing the weight on the scales. Thanks for pointing that out!


It’s not so much about the wind causing lift (weight reduction) as that’s pretty immaterial. What it does do is create eccentric loading.

Take a scale outside and hold a large piece of cardboard on a windy day. Your weight on the scale will increase from the wind load on the cardboard. The leeward side ends up with a compression force resisting the lateral wind load as your body behaves like a beam.

In an ideal simple case, the windward side would lighten and net total unchanged. But in real world, a list of other factors typically yields a net weight increase.

Wind loading in buildings is non-trivial. In tall slender buildings, it usually becomes a dictating load case. Similar story in the trucking industry (scales).

In the case of a airplane, it means landing gear weights are constantly changing due to varying wind. Leeward side is heavier than actual. Windward side lighter. It’s likely the total weight measured more than it would have been had the example same plane been measured in a still environment.

Btw, it is pretty easy to implement a system to about 0.5% accuracy on the landing gears using pretty affordable tech. Some freighters offered this as an option. But it’s not reliable enough to further improve the already statistically validated system.

I would suspect that design safety margins would take care of few %% overweight. An often quoted US5481 had a technical issue on top of weight issue, making it unmanageable.
What automatic weighting can do, though, it may help catching gross errors in loading data - like EK407 had. Not sure if extra cost and weight would justify few (any?) avoided accidents.


No need for extra weight. After EK407, additional logic was added to the FMS. An input error like on EK407 would be caught.
 
trueblew
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:02 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:


Yes, people actually weigh more now than they did the last time this was measured some time back (years and years ago). This was in the works long before a few pounds from Corona and has nothing to do with the pandemic.


True, but the rona definitely steepened the curve: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/ ... e-pandemic

I wonder if an airline will ever charge by passenger GW, that would solve the problem.


Spirit Airlines would make a lot more money if their passengers paid by their weight.


Indeed! In fact, Spirit immediately came to my mind when I saw this thread. With 228 seats, their A321s will now be 4600lbs heavier on paper. I'm not sure if they have many stage lengths where this could be an issue, but it's certainly significant.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4732
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:59 pm

This really hits RJ operators hard because the weights include carry-on baggage; and then when the bag gets gate checked the weight is counted again. So they are accounting for the weight twice in many instances.

Commutair has been having trouble dispatching 145's at DEN now without a weight penalty. Even DEN-COS (62 mi flight) takes a weight penalty regularly. There needs to be an approved method for RJ operators to not have to account for carry-on baggage weight twice; once in the passenger average and again when the bag is valet checked. A weight subtraction formula would only be fair. For example, if you have 25 gate checks, you can deduct the equivalent weight from the cabin and move it to the cargo pit. On a normal aircraft with overhead bin capacity that weight would be accounted for only once in the passenger average; on the E145 it is counted twice if it is checked.
 
littlewing347
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:28 pm

Re: New FAA Standard Weights: A Summer and Winter of Fuel Stops?

Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:48 pm

When we flew from San Juan to Vieques in little 9-passenger twin-piston Cessnas, Cape Air asked all passengers their actual weights (honor system) plus weighed every scrap of luggage. Then the captain retired behind the counter and did some computations before allowing us on.

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